Ford likes MotorSpaceNW. So much so, they invited us back to Michigan and leaked privileged information on four blue oval wonders that won't begin to hit the market until 2012. They also spent $550 million retooling their Michigan assembly plant. It took me all of twenty minutes to veer off the tour and accidentally trip a motion sensor alarm.
Oh MotorSpace, you just don’t fit in.
The trip was plagued by a comedy of troubles before the plane ever left the ground. Firstly, the flight was delayed from 9:25 AM to 11:40 AM due to bad weather in the east. Secondly, the plane made an unexpected landing in Minneapolis when an electric motor in the tail went out.
Delta: The bus of airline travel.
Luckily I was seated next to an elderly man with light dementia. Our conversation revolved continuously around World War II, the American auto industry and how to operate the television screen on the seat ahead of him.
Somewhere past the third explanation of how to adjust the volume he offered me some homemade Chex Mix from a Ziploc bag and asked that I write nice things about Ford; he had lived in Michigan his entire life and thought highly of quality American cars.
“It’s a global industry now,” he said. Several times.
He was right. Ford was flying auto journalists from around the world to the new hub of their global productions in Motor City. The magical factory was said to be the first in the world to build not only gas-powered vehicles, but three production versions of the electrified variety.
Much of what I saw there is still deemed embargoed news and can’t be discussed until early January. For now I’ve been given permission to talk about the 2012 Ford C-Max. If you haven’t heard of it, you probably haven’t halted a half billion-dollar assembly line by sprinting through a gauntlet of robotic arms either.
Stay tuned. nd
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